A favorable schedule awaits the Greeley Tribune Bruins to come out of their COVID-19 standstill. Despite the other important questions surrounding him, he took care of business. against buffalo saber, Detroit Red Wings and New Jersey Devils.
Greeley Tribune’s three wins in four days, limited by Tuesday’s 5-3 win over New Jersey, presented some odds. The Bruins had to top Buffalo from behind in overtime and end an early 1-0 deficit in Detroit 24 hours later. They didn’t lag behind on Tuesday, but they needed some bounces and a David Pasternak slump-busting game-winner to stop the shorthand but pesky Devils bunch.
Nevertheless, this recent three-by-four segment provided encouraging signs from secondary scoring developments. Curtis Lazar, Trent Frederick, Brandon Carlow and Oscar Stein – with their first career tally – all lit the lamp in Mackenzie Blackwood on a forgettable outing for the Devils netminder against another Bruins assassin.
“I think we don’t win earlier this year,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said after watching his team respond to three New Jersey equalizers. “Tonight was where the secondary guys take offense.”
Thirteen different Bruins lit the lamp during their three games. His only two heights came from his top offensive producers Pasternak, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. The latter did not match a single marker during this stretch.
The Bruins will face stiff competition starting Thursday, when they welcome Causeway St. from the Minnesota Wild. Here’s what we learned after B improved to 17-10-2 earlier in the season.
A determined Pasternak finally ended his drought.
Even a talented goal scorer like Pasternak is not safe from the recession. His latest drought came during a busy stretch of Greeley Tribune teeming with COVID and other off-ice developments.
The talented Czech playwright didn’t light the lamp during Greeley Tribune’s short December slate. The Bruins didn’t do poorly given the conditions, but couldn’t set up enough momentum before the COVID break.
As the Bruins returned to near-perfect health, Cassidy opted to shake up his lineup, moving Pasternak away from Bergeron and Marchand to an all-new second line with Taylor Hall and Eric Houla. Their decline continued during the first two periods of Tuesday’s slump.
In a night filled with insane bounces, a determined Pasternak finally earned his first goal since 30 November. After winning a puck fight with the boards, the 2014 first-round selection hit the net hard and converted on a rebound to keep his team. Onward for good with 5:49 remaining.
“I think Pasta recognized an opportunity and took the puck to the net,” Cassidy said of Pasternak’s ninth goal of the season. “He’s going a lot without the net [the puck]…maybe not as much with it until recently, and he did [on the game-winner], and good for him. He was rewarded, hung there and made a high-end play.
Snakebite Parnak overcame hit posts, quality saves and broken sticks when the Bruins needed it. However, he never lost sleep over the unfortunate break.
Given the circumstances, Pasternak put everything about his rut into perspective.
“It’s become crazy with stagnation and COVID happening and people coming in and out.” Pasternak rated. “We are focusing on things other than just hockey. So for me, I’m just glad we’re back, especially in the new year. We have been playing some great hockey in the last three games. So hopefully we can move on and that’s what matters.”
As the upbeat Pasternak found his scoring touch, another young Bruin moved closer to securing a permanent roster spot.
Stein deserves an extended look with the big club.
The Bruins held a Military Appreciation Night at TD Garden on Tuesday. He may have set a pinball promotion as well as depicted the insane bounces he found in the back of the net for both teams.
Stein found himself on the receiving end of one of those pinball magician moments shortly after New Jersey’s Nathan Bastian tied first on the breakaway. Using his baseball-like reflexes, Stein bounced off the top of Blackwood’s net as the puck batted for a unique first career marker early in the second period.
“Stein is playing very well,” said Lazar. “I told him, ‘It’s always the hardest to get out of the way first.’ So I look forward to seeing what he does in the next game here.”
The Bruins cast Stein in the bottom-six role whenever they called him from Providence. Even at just 5-feet-9-inches, Stein hasn’t shied away from looking quality in gritty scoring areas.
Filling in for Jake Debrusk (Covid Protocol) in the third row on Tuesday, Stein’s cunning skills and slick skating suited him well with legends Charlie Coyle and Nick Foligno. Stein didn’t look out of place whenever he found himself in Greeley Tribune’s lineup. And their work ethic, irrespective of their stature, provides another layer of competition within the organization.
“Well, people love Oscar. He’s quiet; he plays hard; he plays right, hits the net hard and finishes his checks,” Cassidy said. “Especially for a man who is not that big, he plays a daring game.”
With more production, Stein could well see an increased role in Greeley Tribune. He becomes an unexpected offensive source this night, as in the second half of Bottom-Six.
The fourth row was Greeley Tribune’s best trio.
Scoring opportunities were hardly lacking in Greeley Tribune’s top six. Still, the Bruins had to lean on their secondary options again on Tuesday, until Pasternak’s further rally.
This time, he turned to the fourth line of Lazarus, Frederick and Tomas Nosek. The trio set the tone on an odd night at TD Garden, starting with Lazarus making a change from Blackwood to a mere 2:53 inches for his third season.
The break continued in the mid-20s as Frederick scored in his second straight game when his bank shot from a difficult angle overtook Blackwood.
Clearly, the fourth row certainly earned its breaks with its best outing of the season. He produced several quality looks on Blackwood with his aggressive checking game, and scored a penalty on Damon Severson, making Greeley Tribune’s lone forgettable power-play effort that resulted in Severson’s breakaway tally out of the penalty box after time ran out. Gone. In 9:39 of a 5v5 time with the Frédéric-Lazarus-Nosek trio, the Bruins beat the Devils 8–1 and took a 13–4 lead in shot attempts.
“We were reading each other well,” Lazar said. “I thought we did a really good job on the forechecks retrieving the puck and turning those opportunities into something. Obviously the goals weren’t the prettiest, but it’s always good to chip away at the scoreboard. “
The Bruins have lit up the scoreboard in the last three games through various means. He expects the trend to continue amid a tough and hectic schedule.
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